This week is National Prevention Week

National Prevention Week is a SAMHSA-supported annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues. National Prevention Week 2015 will take place May 17-23, 2015. Be sure to use the hashtag #Chooseprevention for all social media postings related to national prevention week!

The theme for 2015 is “The Voice of One, the Power of All.”

Purpose of National Prevention Week

There are three primary goals of National Prevention Week:

  • To involve communities in raising awareness of behavioral health issues and in implementing prevention strategies
  • To foster partnerships and collaboration with federal agencies and national organizations dedicated to behavioral and public health
  • To promote and disseminate quality behavioral health resources and publications

Why Does National Prevention Week occur in May?

National Prevention Week is held each year during the third week of May, near the start of summer. Summer is a season filled with celebrations and recreational activities where substance use and abuse can happen, such as graduation parties, proms, weddings, sporting events, and outdoor activities. National Prevention Week is timed to allow schools to take part in a prevention-themed event before the school year ends, raising awareness in students of all ages. The percentages of marijuana, cigarette, and alcohol initiates among youth increase between spring (April and May) and summer (June and July), and the timing of National Prevention Week helps to educate youth and their families at this crucial time of year.

Make the Timing of Your Event Fit Your Community

Most organizations conduct prevention activities throughout the year, culminating in a community-wide event during National Prevention Week. If there are circumstances that make scheduling an event at the end of May difficult, there are other ways to participate. For example, you may choose to hold events during another week in May leading up to National Prevention Week instead. You might also consider scheduling prevention activities before or after the third week of May to accommodate the needs of your community.

Here’s what matters most: your participation! No matter when you can hold your prevention event, getting involved is most important. Whenever you participate in National Prevention Week, you join the nationwide effort to prevent substance abuse and mental disorders, show others that prevention works, and support the health and well-being of your community.

How Communities Get Involved

During National Prevention Week, community organizations across the country host health fairs, block parties, educational assemblies, town hall meetings, memorial walks, social media campaigns, outdoor events, and more. Thousands of people across the United States and in U.S. territories attend these events and help raise awareness about the importance of preventing substance use and mental disorders.

2015 Daily Health Themes

  • Prevention of Tobacco Use – Monday, May 18
  • Prevention of Underage Drinking & Alcohol Abuse – Tuesday, May 19
  • Prevention of Opioid & Prescription Drug Abuse – Wednesday, May 20
  • Prevention of Illicit Drug Use & Youth Marijuana Use – Thursday, May 21
  • Prevention of Suicide – Friday, May 22
  • Promotion of Mental Health & Wellness – Saturday, May 23

Click here to learn more about the SAMSHA National Prevention Week and how you can get involved! 

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